Daniela, this is how the cruise started...

A great suggestion is when taking a cruise to arrive 2 or 3 days prior to the departure date or staying 2 or 3 days after just to fully visit the city.

I recently accompanied a group of travellers on a Mediterranean cruise, which departed from the port of Barcelona, Spain. As this was a group trip, all the arrangements were prearranged. FYI, if you are travelling with a group, it’s best to book your excursions through the travel agency as they deal with local tour companies all the time and it is less expensive than booking directly with the cruise lines. Another advantage is that, depending on the group you are travelling with, you will have a local guide that speaks the preferred language. This is a "turnkey" trip, meaning the transfers to and from the airport, hotels and ports are taken care of. All you have to do is follow your group leader, relax and enjoy your trip.

Upon arrival, the transfers are waiting for us. We were staying three nights at the chosen hotel. Hot/cold breakfasts is included. Keep in mind that at time not all hotels are centrally located. It can happen that you are "far" from the city centre.  

Barcelona is known for its art and architecture. Many landmarks, scattered throughout the city is the work of famed architect, Antoni Gaudi. He is best known for the fantastical Sagrada Familia church. This is where our visit began. Sagrada Familia is a Roman Catholic church in which the construction began in 1882, and to this day, it has yet to be completed. It is said that the construction will be terminated in 2026. This masterpiece of a building feels more like a museum or an art gallery. Filled with intricate religious sculptures and statues, both inside and out.

Tip: To avoid disappointments, buy your tickets online ahead of time due to high demand.

Our second stop was to the infamous Park Güell, yes, another of Gaudi’s creations. Here you can admire colourful works of art and be entertained as you watch and listen to street musicians performing.

From there, we went for lunch in the city centre at Plaça Reial, located just off La Rambla. This is by far my favourite square in Barcelona. It is lined with many terraces for lunch, snacks and/or dinner. Beautiful arches line the entryways of the shops and restaurants, as well a beautiful fountain in the centre of the square. After lunch we headed to La Boqueria food market for dessert. The rest of the day was spent exploring the different sites of the Gothic Quarter, such as Barcelona’s Cathedral, Liceu Opera House, Palau Güell, Placa de Catalunya and the Mirador de Colom, a 47-meter monument, which was built as a tribute to Christopher Columbus. It stands at the end of La Ramblas, near the sea.

We spent our final day at La Barceloneta, a seaside neighbourhood. We took walks along the beach by the palm-lined promenade, admired the fancy yachts at the marina and just enjoyed the warm September weather having drinks and tapas by the sea.

The following day we were all excited to board the cruise ship and began our week-long cruise in the Mediterranean. Stay tuned for more next week…

Again, thank you Daniela for having me share this experience with you and your readers.

Dora Paventi retired and enjoying life

Montreal Event Planner has become the go-to authority in the event planning business, not only because of its reputable success, but also because of the expertise and professionalism of owner Daniela Caputo, who combs the globe on a regular basis to find the best destinations for her clients (and our readers!).

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